Ideally all patients needing kidney dialysis deserve to be treated in the best dialysis facility.
One with state of the art dialysis equipment, manned by courteous doctors, nurses and technicians experienced and adept in dialysis services, govern by policies consistent with world class safety and infection control, in a setting that is accessible even by public transport and affordable even to lower wage earners.
What ideal, however, is far from what is real as most patients in dialysis probably know by now. This is most palpable in far flung areas or regions where dialysis centers, kidney specialists, renal nurses and technicians are simply not available. But to those who are lucky enough to have choices, what should you know to get the best out of your dialysis center?
*** The dialysis center should be clean. Infection control and pride in the center shows in the center’s appearance. What does the waiting room look like? A patient centered dialysis facility will have educational materials for patients and family members to learn more about kidney diseases and available treatment options.
Observe how the staff approaches and deals with each patient and family member. Are they polite and friendly? Do they conscientiously attend to each patient? Are they willing to show new patients around the dialysis facility?
The best dialysis facilities usually have as its center of operations the best nursing staff. They make the difference in making you feel welcome since they are responsible for the day to day operations of the dialysis unit. The more nurses available to provide care, the better the care should be. An acceptable ratio would be one for every three or four dialysis patients.
*** As a patient, you have the right to ask questions until you fully understand your condition and the treatment option that works best for you. Since your kidney is relying on dialysis machine to replace function, the dialysis facility you choose should be equipped with state of the art volumetric machines with bicarbonate dialysates and programmable sodium capabilities.
This features can remarkably improve your stability and comfort during dialysis treatments. Ask about the facility’s water treatment system and about their dialyzer re-use program if present. Both must meet the standard set by the American Association of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). AAMI is the primary source of consensus and timely information on medical instrumentation and technology.
*** Know about the facility’s emergency program. Is there an ambulance that can take you to the nearest hospital? What happen if there are power outages? Is the facility equipment with an emergency power generator? Does it have a defibrillator in case of sudden cardiac arrest? Find out about the kind of security the center provides for you.
*** Is the dialysis center easy to find? Though not as important as those mention above, a dialysis facility center must be easily located. It should be accessible by public transport. The flow of traffic should not impede for emergency vehicles from moving to and from the area. A big plus for the patients and their families is the convenience of available parking spaces.
In choosing where to be dialyzes this tips can help you to feel reasonably confident that you will receive quality care as your blood is artificially cleansed of metabolic wastes and cleared of excessive fluid retention. Only then you can maximize the full benefit of your dialysis treatment.